POLISH ARCHITECTS GRADUATING FROM THE ST. PETERSBURG ACADEMY OF FINE ARTS BETWEEN 1814 AND 1914
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Virtually all Poland's major architects born in the later half of the 19th century completed their studies beyond its pre-partition borders. The Galician architects thus studied mainly in Vienna, those from the former Duchy of Poznan in Berlin, while those born in the Russian Partition went to either the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts or the Institute of Civilian Engineers, both in St. Petersburg. The system of acquiring qualifications based on examination, introduced in schools for military engineering and academies from the late 18th century, remained largely arbitrary and one entered by people intending to make a career in governmental administration. In the wake of the second wave of repressive measures after the January Uprising (1863-4), the generation of architects born after ca. 1850 was essentially forced to study in Russian schools. Following on from the essentially late-Classical orientation of lectures in the early decades of the 19th century, a strong historicist leaning with an increasing bias for vernacular traditions and forms was introduced from the 1830s onwards. It may be concluded that the St. Petersburg Academy never became a modern school of higher learning; in spite of a new statute introduced in 1894, the Academy continued to represent one of the most conservative schools of architecture in Europe. As time passed, however, the programme did begin to resemble that of the Institute of Civil Engineers, where considerably greater emphasis was laid on acquiring qualifications for bureaucratic positions, and whose Polish graduates, no less than its Russian ones, subsequently worked as engineers and builders throughout the entire Empire, thus returning to home towns and regions far less typically. Prior to the 1860s around 25 students based in the imperial capital are recorded as originating from the Russian Partition, compared to around 65 Poles from Central Poland and the so-called eastern borderlands graduated from the St. Petersburg Academy between 1867 and 1918.
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